The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, February 18 to Thursday, February 21, 2008

Monday, February 18

• With attention focused on committee activity, the Senate met briefly before adjourning to continue committee work.

• Several measures were approved by Senate committees Monday.

-SB 1875 by Sen. David Myers, prohibits smoking inside any non-residential building, removing the exemptions for bars, hotels, motels and private offices, as well as separate roomsand Armed Forces exemptions.

-SB 1010 by Sen. Mike Morgan, modifies various provisions relating to public accountants.

-SB 1738 by Sen. Mike Schulz, establishes equal access for private and on-campus bookstore advertising for institutions of higher education.

-SB 1674 by Sen. Jim Wilson, states that students who are determined to graduate on time be allowed to participate in a work-study program and receive elective credit upon approval by a school administrator.

-SB 1941 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Oklahoma School Security Act.

-SB 1828 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, directs the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to appoint a committee to study the expenditure of funds generated by those designated economically disadvantaged and to examine the expenditure of those funds.

-SB 2037 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, permits parents or guardians of multiple birth siblings to request that the children attend the same school and be placed in the same or separate classrooms if the children are in the same grade level and meet the school’s eligibility requirements.

-SB 1816 by Sen. Don Barrington, allows the board of county commissioners to declare a county burn ban not to exceed seven days from the date of passage by the commissioners.

-SB 2111 by Sen. John Sparks, establishes multiple violation penalties for trespassers on private farming, ranching or forestry land.

-SB 1406 by Sen. Brian Bingman, authorizes municipalities with a population of less than 5,000 to employ a part-time city manager.

-SB 2046 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows a disclosure, report or charge that a person has engaged in or is engaging in improper activities under the Whistleblower Act to be filed by another party on behalf of another individual and establishes certain requirements for such filings.

-SB 1763 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, designates in eligible counties a juvenile bureau and all facilities operated by the juvenile bureau as a department of the county.

-SB 1505 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, modifies language related to the Public Competitive Bidding Act.

-SB 1553 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, requires all agencies of the executive branch to submit job descriptions for unclassified positions to the Office of Personnel Management.

-SB 1841 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, reauthorizes the Public Employees Relations Boards and the State Board of Examiners of Perfusionists until July 1, 2012.

-SB 1842 by Sen. Sen. Cliff Aldridge, abolishes the Special Agency Account Board and the Office of State Finance.

-SB 1850 by Sen. Harry Coates, limits the use of the design-build and construction management project delivery method.

-SB 1851 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to minor service contracts for public buildings and public works.

-SB 2070 by Sen. John Sparks, requires that all United State and Oklahoma flags purchased by the state, political subdivisions or public school districts be manufactured in the United States.


• The House convened Monday and approved numerous appropriations shell bills, and the following bills:

-HR 1051 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, calls for the creation of a special investigative committee to conduct a comprehensive and detailed study and investigation of the activities of Jeff McMahan and to determine whether articles of impeachment should be preferred against him.

-HB 2935 by Rep. Bill Nations, ensures school districts the ability to provide space in a school district building or property to a foundation for office or business purposes in exchange for the financial benefits, if approved by the district’s board of education.

-HB 2650 by Rep. Scott Inman, allows schools to exclude from participation in physical education or exercise programs students who have been placed in in-house suspension or detention.

-HB 2758 by Rep. Doug Cox, modifies membership of the Oklahoma Trauma Systems Improvement and Development Advisory Council to include an oral or maxillofacial surgeon.


• House committees on Monday approved the following measures:


-HB 2223 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, prohibits the placement on state property names of individuals who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any felony offense under federal or state law.

-HB 2483 by Rep. Eric Proctor, prohibits persons convicted of a felony from being eligible for appointment and commission as a notary public.

-HB 2634 by Rep. Sally Kern, exempts people who have valid out-of-state teaching certificates and who have 10 or more years of out-of-state teaching experience from having to complete the subject area portions of the competency examination and be issued a certificate to teach in Oklahoma or be considered a highly qualified teacher.

-HB 3395 by Rep. Lance Cargill, directs the State Department of Education to establish a School Health Educators pilot program to assist school districts in establishing student health and wellness programs.

-HB 1789 by Rep. John Trebilcock, authorizes school districts to give teachers payment or carryover for unused sick leave accumulated by the teacher.

-HB 2211 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, creates the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act.

-HB 2780 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, creates the Protection for School Employees Act.

-HB 3187 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, creates the Oklahoma Oilseed Resources Act.

-HB 3193 by Rep. Lee Denney, requires drivers to yield to the right of way and move to the right for wreckers or tow vehicles making use of red or blue flashing lights.

-HB 3242 by Rep. Skye McNiel, modifies language related to the Rural Economic Action Plan Water Projects Fund.

-HB 2704 by Rep. Kris Steele, would create a stand alone nursing home facility for risk level II and III offenders in compliance with the Sex Offenders Registration Act.

-HB 3198 by Rep. Lee Denney, creates the Task Force on Creative Arts Guilds.

-HB 3146 by Rep. David Derby, creates the School Protection Act to provide teachers, principals and other school professionals the tools they need to undertake reasonable action to maintain order and an appropriate educational environment.

-HB 3102 by Rep. Gary Banz, restricts awards granted by OHLAP, preventing awards for tuition and fees for remedial non-credit-earning courses or units taken by an eligible OHLAP student.

-HB 2443 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert, grants students who are dependents of a public school full-time certified or support employee a full waiver of resident tuition and fees at an institution within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.


Tuesday, February 19

• With attention focused on getting measures assigned and heard by committees by the February 22 deadline, the Senate met briefly on Tuesday, approving the following measures:

-SB 1453 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, adds metal beer kegs that are clearly marked as being the property of the beer manufacturer to the list of items junk dealers are prohibited from purchasing without proof that the seller owns the item.

-SB 1442 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, designates Oklahoma State University in Okmulgee as the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology – Okmulgee.


Numerous measures were approved by Senate committees on Tuesday including:

-SB 2163 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, permits courts to order certain defendants to use Global Positioning Monitoring System devices as a condition of pretrial release and requires the defendant to pay the costs of the monitoring.

-SB 2194 by Sen. James A. Williamson, requires district or administrative courts to determine the cost of childcare in certain cases.

-SB 1613 by Sen. James A. Williamson, increases the number of registered voters’ signatures necessary to institute certain lawsuits against government entities from ten resident taxpayers to no less than 10 percent of the total number of votes cast in the preceding general election.

-SB 1724 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, creates conditions under which a person is considered released on personal recognizance.

-SB 1567 by Sen. Jim Wilson, modifies requirements for chiefs of police.

-SB 1727 by Sen. David Myers, adds all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, and utility vehicles to the definition of motor vehicles.

-SB 1945 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, provides an allowance for individuals with intermediate Class D driver’s licenses to drive outside the limits of certain municipalities.

-SB 1998 by Sen. Mike Schulz, adds the definition of “imported mini-truck” and adds it to the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act.

-SB 1386 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies language relating to right turns at intersections.

-SB 1506 by Sen. Sean Burrage, prohibits boards of county commissioners and the Department of Transportation from opening a public highway.

-SB 1383 by Sen. Mike Johnson, speeds up the elimination of the estate tax and state legislative intent to eliminate the tax on the transfer of an estate of any decedent who dies on or after Jan. 1, 2009.

-SB 2024 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, sets a timetable for the elimination of a variety of tax credits and exemptions.

-SB 1149 by Sen. Don Barrington, expands the sales tax exemption granted under the “Back-to-School” sales tax holiday to include school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional supplies.

-SB 958 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, establishes ad valorem assessment procedures for certain property.

-SB 1968 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, removes an ad valorem tax exemption from a certain automotive manufacturing facility and initiates a requirement for specified information to be included on certain applications.

-SB 2106 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates a sales tax exemption for nonprofit local public and public schools foundations which solicit money or property in the name of any public or private school district.

-SB 2129 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, creates a working capital allowance for certain investment tax exemptions.

-SB 571 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, provides a sales tax exemption for sales of tangible personal property or services as part of a fundraising effort by a federally tax exempt organization composed of women affiliated to provide leadership, services and resources toward removing barriers and inequalities so that all people of America may develop their potential and exercise full citizenship.

-SB 1382 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, exempts from taxation sales of tangible personal property or services an all-volunteer organization that has filed for non-profit status in the state to provide services to veterans’ organization.

-SB 2043 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, creates an income tax credit for investments in alternative motor vehicles.

-SB 1693 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, creates the Task Force on Taxation of Water Sales to review the current statutes and relevant case law and discuss how various tax types might be applied to the sale of water and issues surrounding implementation of such tax types and other relevant matters.

-SB 1699 by Sen. Brian Bingman, authorizes the Corporation Commission to set rules necessary to enable Oklahoma to participate in the Unified Carrier Registration System for interstate motor carriers.

-SB 1911 by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Sen. Jim Wilson, changes the apportionment of sales tax revenue to counties and municipalities that levy a sales tax.

-SB 2014 by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Sen. Jim Wilson, increases the individual income tax personal exemption to $1,500 for the 2009 tax year and subsequent tax years.

-SB 2153 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, clarifies filing requirements for the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Act.

-SJR 44 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to enact laws governing the procedures for making exemption applications to the county assessor.

-SB 1804 by Sen. Randy Bass, creates a lien for wrecker, accident site clean-up and vehicle storage services that provide services for any person who suffers vehicle damage and asserts a claim against a tortfeasor or insurer for the damages, establishes the procedures for the payment of the lien and certain exemptions.

-SB 1975 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language related to abstracting and specifies uses of instruments of record under the Oklahoma Abstractors Law.

-SB 1839 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, clarifies language related to the Uniform Arbitration Act and adds contracts between insurance companies to the act’s jurisdiction.

-SB 1435 by Sen. John Sparks, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Horse Racing Act.

-SB 1403 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, removes language regarding a review hearing of the custody of a youthful offender when the offender becomes 18.

-SB 1825 by Sen. Tom Ivester, creates the Oklahoma Uniform Trust Code.

-SB 2186 by Sen. Tom Ivester, creates a task force to study the Oklahoma Children’s Code.

-SB 1887 by Sen. Constance Johnson, provides for the possible inspection of confidential juvenile court and agency records and their contents to be disclosed without a court order to employees of a law enforcement agency during official duties.

-SB 1923 by Sen. Todd Lamb, establishes procedures for determining paternity in certain circumstances and clarifies statutory references.

-SB 1992 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, modifies language related to child stealing crimes and punishment.

-SB 2004 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows for the inclusion of religious invocations or references in victim’s impact statements.

-SB 2007 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, provides that those who are compelled to testify as a witness to give factual testimony but qualifies and testifies as an expert witness shall receive a reasonable expert witness fee from the party seeking the testimony.

-SB 2041 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, adds county sheriffs, their employees or contractors to the list of those who may take and submit DNA samples to be included in a criminal investigation database maintained by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

-SJR 51 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, orders a legislative referendum related to the Attorney General’s ability to apply for grand juries.

-SB 2012 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, prohibits individuals in the custody of the Department of Corrections under a judgment of death from being eligible to enter into a contract for and consent to marriage.

-SB 2069 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.

-SB 2011 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, modifies language related to the causes for which a divorce may be granted by changing insanity to mental illness.

-SB 1622 by Sen. Susan Paddack, expands the list of qualifying domestic abuse programs to which defendants who are convicted of domestic abuse that was committed in the presence of child or violation of a protective order shall be required to participate in counseling or undergo treatment to include domestic abuse counseling programs approved by the court.


• The House convened Tuesday and approved numerous appropriations shell bills and the following substantive measures:

-HB 2731 by Rep. Fred Jordan, creates the School District Employee Direct Deposit Act.

-HB 2518 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, directs the State Board of Education to adopt rules related to transfers of children with disabilities.

-SB 41 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, expands language relating to charitable wine event licenses to include charitable beer licenses.


• House committees met Tuesday approved the following measures:

-HB 3358 by Rep. Randy Terrill, would have required that the creation or dissolution of incentive of increment districts be reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

-HB 2863 by Rep. Mike Shelton, requires a child care facility to maintain liability insurance coverage worth $200,000 for each occurrence of negligence.

-HB 3209 by Rep. Shane Jett, provides for a Native American Affairs cabinet position and directs 15 state agencies to implement a tribal liaison position.

-HB 2811 by Rep. Pam Peterson, authorizes school districts to access juvenile records within the Juvenile Justice Information System.

-HB 3266 by Rep. Terry Harrison, provides for courts to immediately suspend visitation with an alleged child abuser in certain situations.

-HB 2761 by Rep. Doug Cox, states that if an insured person elects to receive treatment from a provider outside a preferred provider organizational network, the insurer shall list the provider as a payee on any check or negotiable instrument sent to the insured for payment of services.

-HB 2759 by Rep. Doug Cox, modifies language relating to notification of health care providers of clean claims received by the insurer.

-HB 2678 by Rep. Earl Sears, directs the Department of Commerce to establish the Oklahoma Senior Card program for Oklahoma residents at least 62 years of age.

-HB 2787 by Rep. Mike Jackson, creates a misdemeanor offense for tenants who cause damage or destruction to property by a willful noncompliance with the rental agreement.

-HB 3239 by Rep. Skye McNiel, encourages young people to pursue engineering as a career by providing incentives in the form of tax credits for engineers who choose to work for an Oklahoma aerospace company.

-HB 3392 by Rep. Lance Cargill, creates the American Dream Act and provides an income tax deduction of $2,500 for individuals filing single and $5,000 for married persons filing jointly on interest earned on a qualified home purchase savings account.

-HB 2481 by Rep. Eric Proctor, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to create “In God We Trust” license plates in consultation with the Oklahoma Family Policy Council.

-HB 3114 by Rep. Ron Peterson, creates the Oklahoma Workforce Incentives Act of 2008.

-HB 3354 by Rep. Randy Terrill, creates the Oklahoma Tax Codes Comprehensive Review Act of 2008.



Wednesday, February 20

Attention remained focused on committee action on Wednesday, as the Senate adjourned quickly after approving the following bill:

-SB 1437 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, directs the Board of Environmental Quality to study measures to reduce diesel fuel emissions in an effort to achieve the National Ambient Air Quality Standards set forth under the federal Clean Air Act.


• Senate committees passed numerous bills on Wednesday:

-SB 2173 by Sen. John Ford, would create an eight-person Oklahoma Lottery Asset Review Board to determine if privatization would result in a more efficient operation.

-SB 1150 by Sen. John Ford, would require voters to produce identification in order to vote.

-SB 1724 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would update Oklahoma’s drinking laws and make it illegal for the consumption or possession of alcohol (hard liquor) by a person under the age of 21.

-SB 1134 by Sen. Earl Garrison, would request that all state agencies, interested organizations, civic groups and individuals fly the U.S. flag at half-mast in remembrance of those Oklahomans who are serving or who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces furtherance of victory in the global war on terror, particularly those who have died or have been wounded as a result of such service.

-SB 2114 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would establish a comprehensive Patients Bill of Rights that will allow Oklahomans enrolled in health care plans to get fair service and quality care for which they pay.

-SB 1865 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, would create the Office of Accountability and Innovation within the Legislative Service Bureau. This office would conduct regular performance audits of agencies, recommend best practices to improve efficiencies in government, review the effectiveness of tax incentives, and bring new innovations to government to make it more effective for taxpayers.

-SB 1698 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, would streamline government by merging most functions of the Criminal Justice Resource Center into the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

-SB 1709 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, would streamline government by merging the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner into the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Many states have medical examiner functions under state law enforcement agencies.

-SB 1878 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Freedom of Conscience Act, which gives employees of health care facilities the right to choose not to participate in an objectionable activity based on moral or religious grounds.

-SB 1708 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Oklahoma Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

-SB 2114 by Sen. Jim Wilson, requires any health benefit plan to cover any health care service deemed “medically necessary” by a health care professional.

-SB 1530 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, prohibits any person 21 or older from knowingly permitting an invitee under age 21 to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage, low point beer or dangerous substance.

-SB 2028 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates a felony for any individual who maliciously, forcibly or fraudulently takes or entices away any incapacitated or partially incapacitated person or any other person over the age of 16 for whom a guardian has been appointed with the intent to detain and conceal the individual from his or her guardian or who transports such a person outside the jurisdiction of the United States without consent of the guardian or court and sets penalties.

-SB 2021 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, prohibits individuals from allowing loud, unusual or obscene music or other continuous noise that harasses another person and can be heard from a distance of 50 feet from being emitted from any vehicle and sets penalties.

-SB 1994 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, establishes that it is a misdemeanor to knowingly make a false statement verbally or in writing to a state agency investigative unit’s office or employee in the course of an internal investigation.

-HB 1830 by Sen. Tom Adelson, creates an Oklahoma Geriatric Medical Loan Replacement Program and directs the State Department of Health to manage the program.

-SB 1141 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language regarding the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) Fund.

-SB 1396 by Sen. Brian Bingman, increases the amount to be allocated to the ROADS Fund from $70 million to $120 million beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.

-SB 1525 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, directs the Department of Human Services to implement caseload/investigation levels for child protection service workers that support implementation of national models of excellence.

-SB 1745 by Sen. Randy Bass, makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to purchase, access, compile or maintain electronically accessible driver’s license information.

-SB 1767 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, modifies the apportionment of revenue generated by the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act, directing funds to be transferred to the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges Fund.

-SB 1870 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Oklahoma Technology Consolidation Task Force.

-SB 1946 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Oklahoma Education Lottery Shortfall Fund.

-SB 1962 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, amends the Taxpayer Transparency Act to include posting information concerning bills requested by state agencies.

-SB 2100 by Sen. John Ford and Sen. Clark Jolley, directs the State Board of Education to establish a maximum 10-district Charter District Pilot Program and modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act.

-SB 1190 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, modifies language related to the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Act.

-SB 1404 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies language under the Oklahoma Medicaid Program Reform Act of 2003.

-SB 1458 by Sen. Andrew Rice, creates the Veteran’s Heal Insurance Program Act to be administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

-SB 1475 by Sen. Brian Bingman, creates the Sustaining Oklahoma’s Energy Resources Act.

-SB 1601 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, creates the May Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act.

-SB 1612 by Sen. Ron Justice creates the Quality Afterschool Opportunities Act to reduce childhood obesity and improve academic performance.

-SB 1714 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, requires at least 5 percent of the expenditures from the EDGE Fund be allotted to carry out the mission of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.


• The House met Wednesday and approved several appropriations shell bills and the following substantive measures:

-HB 2264 by Rep. Chris Benge, allows the Information Services Division to submit its findings on new programs and expenditures in print or electronic form to the governor and leaders of the Legislature.

-HB 2490 by Rep. Wes Hilliard, creates the Pharmacy Audit Integrity Act to establish the minimum and uniform standards and criteria for the audit of pharmacy records by or on behalf of certain agencies.

-HB 3126 by Rep. John Enns, creates the Advancement in Stem Cell Cures and Therapies Act, allowing stem cell research to be conducted in the state if it is performed ethically and safely, in accordance with federal law.

• House committees approved a number of measures Wednesday including the following:

-HB 2869 by Rep. Mike Shelton, makes it unlawful to pay or receive money or other things of value based on the number of signatures obtained on an initiative or referendum petition.

-HB 2956 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, requires voters to provide proof of identity when voting.

-HJR 1065 by Rep. Susan Winchester, proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the Contingency Review Board, to be comprised of the governor, president pro tempore of the Senate and speaker of the House, to act on requests for funding from the Oklahoma Opportunity Fund.

-HJR 1080 by Rep. Gary Banz, calls for a constitutional convention.

-HB 2667 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, establishes the new five-year hunting licenses and requires the person purchasing a five-year hunting license to also purchase a Wildlife Land Stamp.

-HB 2735 by Rep. Brian Renegar, lowers from 16 to 10 the minimum age for persons to purchase a hunting license with an “apprentice” designation.

-HB 2218 by Rep. Jerry Shoemake, creates the Oklahoma Livestock Industry Development Payment Fund.

-HB 2547 by Rep. Phil Richardson, makes it illegal in Oklahoma to participate in computer assisted remote control hunting unless the person is disabled to the point where they are physically incapable of shooting a firearm.

-HB 3077 by Rep. Joe Dorman, prohibits hunting or taking black bear without having first procured a license from the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

-HB 3028 by Rep. Shane Jett, creates the Oil Derrick Monument Design Committee to recommend the design for the Oklahoma Historical Society’s construction and funding of the Oil Derrick Monument at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Interstate 40.

-HB 2504 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, authorizes certified driver education instructors to administer the driving skills portion of driving examinations to students under certain circumstances.

-HB 3197 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies language related to alternative placement teaching certificates, requiring a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

-HB 2466 by Rep. David Braddock, makes the financial need provisions for participation in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program not applicable to any student adopted while in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services.

-HB 2247 by Rep. Jerry Shoemake, designates Oklahoma State University campus located in Okmulgee as the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology – Okmulgee.

-HB 3120 by Rep. Tad Jones, increases from 25 percent to 30 percent the maximum limitation on awards or funding for the Oklahoma State Regents Academic Scholars program that may go to nonresident students.

-HB 2551 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, modifies the apportionment process for the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety Fund by discontinuing certain alternative apportionment methods.

-HB 3340 by Rep. Mike Thompson, authorizes the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to advertise surface-treatment-only projects of more than 20 miles by sections no longer than 20 miles, as well as bids on the project as a whole.

-HB 3060 by Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, directs the Department of Health to collaborate with a private blood donor or blood bank organization to operate a public umbilical cord blood bank.

-HB 3059 by Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, mandates conspicuous signage of locations that provide abortions listing information about a person’s right to seek protection from actual or threatened abuse or violence and describing the unlawfulness of performing an abortion against one’s will.

-HB 2710 by Rep. Lisa Billy, lowers from 21 to 20 the minimum age for service as a correctional officer or guard with the Department of Corrections.

-HB 1078 by Rep. Trebor Worthen, proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the offices of the lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, attorney general, state treasurer, labor commissioner, superintendent of public instruction, insurance commissioner and corporation commissioner to two terms.


Thursday, February 21

• The Senate met briefly Thursday and adjourned to resume committee work after passing the following resolution:

-SCR 53 by Sen. John Ford, recognizes the J.D. McCarty Center’s excellence, praises those who have helped the J.D. McCarty Center and declares October 6, 2008, as J.D. McCarty Center Day in the state of Oklahoma.

• Senate committees approved the following measures Thursday:

-SJR 38 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, recognizes the inherent right of Oklahoma citizens to hunt and fish.

-SB 1521 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would preventing private insurance companies from penalizing critically ill patients who enter clinical trials.

Other News


• The State Equalization Board met on Tuesday at the State Capitol and confirmed there would be nearly $114 million less to appropriate for the FY 2009 budget. Governor Brad Henry said the news was not cause for panic, and did not think it warranted the use of funds from the state’s rainy day account.

• House Speaker Chris Benge appointed a panel of eight State Representatives, four Republicans and four Democrats, to examine possible impeachment proceedings against State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan who, along with his wife Lori, has been indicted on federal mail fraud, bribery and conspiracy charges.

• State Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields issued a public apology on Tuesday after published reports that he’d spent several hours in Oklahoma City’s detox center after allegedly trying to steal a guitar at a party at the Cox Convention Center. Fields said the incident was “simply a misunderstanding of a practical joke among friends gone bad.” The owner of the guitar declined to file charges.

Index